The history of the East Asian Library goes back a long time. In 1933, the Rev. William C. White, former Anglican Bishop of Henan, China, heard of a fine Chinese library for sale. It consisted of about 40,000 volumes collected by a scholar Mr. Mu Hsueh Hsun (1880 - 1929). He was the former secretary at the German Legation in Peking.
Bishop White immediately put in an offer of $10,500 which was accepted. Then Bishop White, Dr. Sigmund Samuel, Sir Robert Mond, and Professor John C. Ferguson put together a donation for the purchase of the library. The Mu Collection was catalogued in Peking. It reached Toronto in 1935. This marked the beginning of the Chinese collection.
The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library continues to hold its place among the major East Asian research libraries in North America. In fulfilling its role as a leading East Asian resource centre in the nation, the library is deeply indebted to its many supporters and donors.
The Library began with a collection of rare materials acquired from China in the 1930's. This special collection is now known as the Mu Collection. More Chinese, Japanese and Korean materials were added later. The library now has over 553,000 volumes (as of May 2012). It is a major research collection on East Asian studies in North America.
Material for this collection provided by: The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library